Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, campaigning to recapture his old seat, took $100,000 from a billionaire who defended disgraced media mogul Harvey Weinstein.
McAuliffe took the six-figure donation in April from Paul Tudor Jones, a billionaire hedge fund manager who was a close ally of Weinstein's and a board member of the Hollywood convicted rapist’s production company, The Weinstein Company.
Jones told Weinstein that he loved him in an email and said, "America loves a great comeback story" and the allegations "will go away sooner than you think," the New York Times revealed in 2017.
Jones received a massive public condemnation after it was revealed he came to the defense of Weinstein amid his sexual assault allegations in 2017, including calls from Women United Now for him to be "kicked off" the board of the Everglades Foundation in April 2018. He is still listed as one of the "founding members" of the board on the group's website.
"It's time to drain the Everglades Foundation swamp of men who enable other men to get away with sexual misconduct or engage in it themselves," the group's founder, Catrena Carter, said. "Paul Tudor Jones knowingly turned his head the other way and even went as far as to comfort Weinstein by telling him it would all be forgotten. Thankfully women are coming out to support one another in record numbers. Let's put our frustration into action and demand that The Everglades Foundation cut ties with Paul Tudor Jones immediately."
Jones' 2021 donation to McAuliffe wasn't the first time he had given money to the Virginia Democrat. In 2014, he donated $75,000 to the former governor’s campaign committee, Common Good VA. Following the reports on Weinstein, McAuliffe donated $57,000 worth of campaign contributions from Weinstein and his company to the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance.
Prior to the revelations, though, McAuliffe boasted about Weinstein calling his book the "best book he ever read" and saying that Weinstein was considering making a movie about it. McAuliffe also called Weinstein a "friend."
Jones – who also runs the Robin Hood Foundation in New York – also reportedly gave Weinstein a roadmap to fix his image after the allegations surfaced. He resigned from the board of Weinstein’s company days after the allegations arose
When asked for comment on the donation by Fox News, a spokesperson for Jones declined but pointed to the 2017 email statement to employees in a Daily Mail report where Jones said the allegations against Weinstein were a "100% a surprise" to him.
"I deeply believe in redemption, but what I know now is that Harvey was a friend I believed too long and defended too long," Jones said.
"Perhaps in your own life you have faced a similar dilemma — how to react to a friend who is revealed to be someone other than the person you believed him or her to be," he continued.
McAuliffe’s campaign did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment on the contribution or whether the former governor returned the money. McAuliffe is looking to defeat Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin.
The Tudor Investment Corporation did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.